Mary and Sharon Bishop-Baldwin: 2014 Human Rights Award Winners
Nominated by Bill Bryant
On November 3, 2004, the day after Oklahoma's state constitution was amended to ban same-sex marriage, Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, along with another couple, filed a challenge in federal court in Tulsa. They wanted the state to recognize, in law, their right to marry.
On January 14, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Terence C. Kern ruled in Bishop v. Oklahoma that Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. But, the enforcement of his ruling was stayed, pending an appeal.
Ultimately, on October 6th of this year, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal from the State of Oklahoma. Mary and Sharon were free to wed, which they did on the same day.
Informed of their nomination for this year's Human Rights award, Sharon Bishop-Baldwin stated, "We represent thousands of LGBT people who did not have the ability to stand up for themselves on the marriage issue, and we always accept accolades on their behalf, as well."
Mary and Sharon are among a group of Oklahomans who are being honored with this year's Human Rights Award. You can find the complete list of winner on our blog post titled, "2014 Human Rights Award Winners" (December 3, 2014).
“Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.”(Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)